I finally bought an ironing board and iron. Before you say, “What?!? Have you been that wrinkled the whole time you’ve been in Japan” let me point out that almost all my shirts I wear to work are Brooks Brothers Non-Iron shirts. That’s not a plug, that’s not a brag, that’s just a fact. As you may have discovered in previous posts I am very brand loyal. That’s why I still use Tide in Japan. Back to my shirts … yes, I finally bought an iron. My ridiculously bad dryer has a tendency to wrinkle almost everything by tying them in knots. I’ve gotten some of the most amazing coupling of clothing out the dryer. My online review of the National NH-D502 – It sucks! I knew that before yet I bought it. My dryer definitely wrinkles things. I noticed my available wearable shirts started reducing over time, and I was tired of wearing the same shirts, so I admitted that it was time to buy an iron and ironing board. I really don’t like ironing, but it is one of the things you have to do on occasion.
Buying an ironing board presents a series of problems in a major metropolitan area when you don’t have a car. First of all, an ironing board is big. In Japan of course they have miniaturized versions of iron boards. However, I am an American, so I need a BIG and TALL ironing board. After consultation with Tomo, I decided to try Bic Camera because they have everything, Tokyu Hands, and maybe Muji (my favorite brand as you know).
When I went to Bic Camera, I was shocked to see the only ironing board available, a typical American style ironing board, was over $100. I know the yen is really strong now, but even if it was weak it would be one heck of an expensive ironing board. Yikes! I had to ask if they had others. They did, as a matter of fact. One was shaped like a torso, and one was kind of a strangely shaped collapsible board American style. The other American style board was only, ONLY, 5400 yen, or about $55. I said I would think about it. Actually, I said something that I thought was equivalent to, “Let me think about it.” Who knows if the translation was literal.
I went to Tokyu Hands and was confronted by the same torso boards and the exact model I saw at Bic Camera for about $10 more. Since Bic Camera has a big selection of irons too, it seemed clear that I had to head back to Bic Camera. Once back at Bic Camera, I requested the board that I had seen before. That is, I tried to request the board. How do you describe an ironing board that isn’t on display to the salesperson in Japanese? The first round I got a lot of Japanese style tabletop iron boards. I had to get creative in my Japanese … but finally he brought out what I wanted.
Bic Camera offered about 30 different irons. More choice, ranging from $9 to over $130. Clearly the $9 iron was out as was the $130 iron. I prefer cordless irons, I guess because I am left-handed and there always seems to be a complication for lefties with irons although right now I can’t figure out the complication because it seems you could arrange you, the board, and the iron to account for being left-handed. Maybe I’m just such an unskilled iron-er that I can’t deal with the cord (after all, I’ve admitted to hating to iron). How did I make my choice? I chose the best seller! Hey, if everybody likes it, it should be good. I got a Panasonic NI0CL406-H. I guess I know what I will be doing tomorrow.
Also, when I was at Bic Camera originally scouting the irons, I recalled that I wanted new cables for my DVD to AV set / television set. My current connection is strange – I got some strange interference in the video when I hooked up the video to the TV and the sound to the AV set? Huh? Checking out the original cables they looked poorly insulated so I thought better cables would help. More money. I bumped into colleagues while I was struggling over just what cable to buy. Luckily my DVD player is carried by Bic so I could check it out. It probably took me 45 minutes to choose the cables. Don’t worry, no pictures here. I hope they work.
Back to the ironing board … an ironing board is not something you can just stick in a bag. I was really kind of embarrassed how ugly the board was and thought, “What the heck, I’ll take a taxi home.” It is a little cold out, and the train station is really busy, and I thought it would be better if I just grabbed a taxi. However, the thought that I could spend $2 on the subway of $10 on a taxi made me say, “Screw it, I am PROUD of my ironing board. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am a strong, confident male with a rather silly looking ironing board.” I made it home incident free. The entire shopping trip was over two hours.
Later in the evening I went out to get a new stocking cap because I don’t like my current cap. After shopping, my current cap seems a lot nicer. I went to Banana Republic and their knit caps were something like $50 to $100. I kid you not. Wow. I bought a coat at BR (30 years everyone!) in the US and it is about $120 more expensive in Japan. Approximately 40% more.
I think when I get lonely or depressed I make myself go out and shop as something to get me out. I need to make sure that I don’t become a spending prairie fire while I am over here. The past month with my trip to the States, the purchase of a new computer, and the vacation at Hoshinoya, I’m feeling a little out of control. Can I single-handedly take two countries out of recession? I don’t know but I sure am trying.
Who knew that buying an iron would result in over 1000 words.